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Monthly Archives: May 2017

Elements of style

Elements of style

Antonio Literes, a boy soprano from Majorca, had, we may presume, friends in high places. He was summoned to the royal chapel of Carlos II in Madrid and there learned enough about music, after his voice changed, to enjoy a career as a composer of “zarzuelas” until his death in 1747. An Accis y Galatea is listed in Loewenthal as premiering at the Buen Retiro palace in 1708, traveling on to Lisbon three years later.  ... Read More »

Back to the beach

Back to the beach

Were La Rondine an IQ test, I’d be in trouble. It is considered “lesser” Puccini, even a touch embarrassing, but I love it. If Mozart is the great composer of unforced, mysterious, heart stopping pathos, then Puccini must be the not so great composer of aching nostalgia and sorrowing loss.  La Rondine, despite a thin, derivative plot, becomes through its music, an almost profound work about disappointment bordering on despair, chances lost for good, rather ... Read More »

On this night of a thousand stars

On this night of a thousand stars

On this day in 1967 the Metropolitan Opera performed La Gioconda in Memphis, Tennessee with a cast headed by Renata Tebaldi, Franco Corelli, Rosalind Elias, Cornell MacNeil, Bonaldo Giaiotti and Belén Amparan. The conductor was Fausto Cleva.  Born on this day in 1833 composer Johannes Brahms. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7QI8Kj1t40 Born on this day in 1840 composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchiakovsky. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=aURT4CCQdMc Anniversary birthdays for three great Swedish singers: Born on this day in 1927 soprano Elisabeth Söderström. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxRvJtKFRLA Born on this day in 1931 tenor ... Read More »

The music, ho!

The music, ho!

Here’s where the parterriani will surely gather to hear and to comment upon this evening&8217;s monster gala celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Met&8217;s incumbency at Lincoln Center, beginning at 6:00 PM EDT and ending heaven knows when. Scheduled to appear are Marco Armiliato, Piotr Beczala, Ben Bliss, Stephanie Blythe, Joseph Calleja, Javier Camarena, Dwayne Croft, Diana Damrau, David Daniels, Joyce DiDonato, Plácido Domingo, Yusif Eyvazov, Michael Fabiano, Renée Fleming, Elina Garanca, Susan Graham, Vittorio ... Read More »

There wouldn’t be chandeliers bright enough!

There wouldn’t be chandeliers bright enough!

“I thought you did it for me, Mama.” &8220;I thought you did it for me, Mama…&8221; I thought you made a no-talent ox into a star because you like doing things the hard way, Mama. And you haven’t got any talent! Not what I call talent, Mister Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart! I made you! And you wanna know why? You wanna know what I did it for?! Because I was born too soon and started too ... Read More »

Nightafternight playlist

New and recent releases of interest. — Kurtág, Complete Works for Ensemble and Choir; Reinbert de Leeuw conducting Asko / Schönberg and the Netherlands Radio Choir (ECM) — Katharina Rosenberger, SHIFT and other works; wasteLAnd and Rage Thormbones (hat art) — Cage, Works for Percussion 4, featuring 51'16.657" for a speaking percussionist; Bonnie Whiting (Mode) — Monteverdi, Vespro della Beata Virgine; John Eliot Gardiner conducting the Monteverdi Choir, His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts, English Baroque ... Read More »

“On the stage, I am a lion, an elephant”

“On the stage, I am a lion, an elephant”

Born on this day in 1941 soprano Ghena Dimitrova.  //www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrDkeyD_hy8 Born on this day in 1898 conductor Jascha Horenstein. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6iiPbBRGHQ Born on this day in 1924 soprano Mimi Benzell. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjXsx5x9tYE Happy 86th birthday mezzo-soprano Jane Berbié. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiojHXrFpYA Happy 75th birthday baritone and teacher Richard Stilwell. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6mgePKl4Ns Happy 57th birthday soprano Phyllis Treigle. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKMqvZTwxnc The cher public are invited to post YouTube clips of Mme. Dimitrova at her most leonine and/or pachydermatous. Source: Music-2 Read More »

The Riel thing

The Riel thing

By virtue of its subject matter and the auspicious occasion of its commissioning, Louis Riel was destined to be iconic. The subject matter is a founding member of the province of Manitoba, who fought and ultimately died for his province in the early days of Canada. The occasion was Canada’s centennial and a prestigious commission to write an opera worthy of the moment.  Since its premiere in 1967, the opera by composer Harry Somers and ... Read More »

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